Novak Djokovic hit out Friday at what he said was a “misinterpretation” of images showing his father posing at the Australian Open with a Russian flag that had Vladimir Putin’s face on it. Djokovic beat Tommy Paul to seal a place in Sunday’s final and said he hoped his father would be there after skipping Friday’s semi-final.
The 35-year-old Djokovic stressed that his father had “no intention whatsoever to support any war initiatives”.
“I saw as everyone else saw what happened and it was unfortunate the misinterpretation of what happened has escalated to such a high level,” Djokovic said after his semi-final.
“My father, my whole family, have been through several wars. As my father put in the statement, we are against the war. We will never support any violence or war,” he added.
He said his father had been greeting fans outside Rod Laver Arena after every match he played to thank them for their support.
“I am here to support my son only.
Demand for apology
A video posted to a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account on Thursday showed Djokovic’s father posing with a man holding a Russian flag with President Putin’s face on it.
Read more: https://sports.ndtv.com/australian-open-2023/novak-djokovic-says-russian-flag-incident-misinterpreted-hopes-father-can-attend-final-3729519